Saturday, February 23, 2008

Exceptional Reads

There are some dedicated geneabloggers out there who every week list their favorite reads from the blogosphere...or more. I've been honored to have some of my posts mentioned by them. Randy Seaver at Genea-Musings posts his "Best of the Genea-Blogs" every Sunday, as does Terry Thornton at Hill Country of Monroe County, Mississippi under the heading, "Harvest from the Blog Garden." Terry's cousin, Lori Thornton at Smoky Mountain Family Historian, a librarian as well as a genealogist, posts her "Reading Roundup," which extends beyond genealogy and even beyond blogs to include news articles of interest. Pat Richley, a.k.a. DearMYRTLE has her "BEST of the Internet for Genealogist Award" each week as well, in which she lists not just her favorite blog of the week, but her BEST weekly picks in the following nine categories: instruction, database site, scanned image site, podcast, video, commentary, innovation, most interesting thread, and ethnic studies. UPDATE: I knew there was another geneablogger out there who also highlights weekly faves, but my mind was drawing a blank! Donna Pointkouski at What's Past is Prologue features "Donna's Picks" each week.

I don't think I'm ready to do this on a regular basis the way the above bloggers do, but from time to time I do like to point out some interesting, thought-provoking, educational or link-sharing posts. I noticed this past week that there were some exceptional reads out there, and I'd like to highlight them:

  • *Charlotte, a.k.a. "Apple" at Apple's Tree started off her week with the post "Housekeeping" in which she has linked to an article on her other blog about the homecoming of Sgt. Van Orman. She also notified her readers about Blogger In Draft, a blog that informs Blogger users about beta or "in draft" features, one of which is scheduled posts. I was very excited to hear about this new feature, and have used it several times this week: those are the posts that appear at 2 AM Pacific Time. I'm not up that late; I schedule the posts to appear so that my East Coast family members and readers can read them at the beginning of the day, just as I enjoy reading my fellow genea-bloggers posts when I first get up.
  • *J. L. Beeken at JLog highlighted KeePass, a handy application I've downloaded. Ever forget a user name and password to a site or program? This will be helpful.
  • *Remember bronzed baby shoes? Although I never had them, I know many in my generation--or those older than me--did. Mrs. Mecomber of New York Traveler wrote about them in "Baby Steps", how bronzing your baby's first shoes is "coming back." She provided a link to the American Bronzing Company so you can see how the process is done.
  • *From one of my ancestral locations, the Grand Rapids [Michigan] Press reports that an airport in Muskegon (also an ancestral location) in neighboring Muskegon County won't be named after a World War II ace after all. While the news is disappointing, the brief history of U.S. Navy fighter pilot Ira "Ike" Kepford was an excellent read.
  • *Lastly, did a natural disaster or terrible accident affect your ancestor's life? Check out GenDisasters...Genealogy in Tragedy, Disasters, Fires, Floods, a user-submitted database of transcribed newspaper articles depicting American and Canadian disasters. You can search by location, disaster type, or year, plus there are message boards you can use. I searched to find the Alaska helicopter crash of close family friends of my parents, and while I did not find it, I did come across the article reporting the Lear jet crash U.S. Senator Ted Stevens (R-Alaska) survived in 1978, which killed, among others, his wife, Ann. I remember vividly when that happened, for although we did not know the Stevenses personally, my dad's Aunt Mary Shore was his secretary in Washington, D.C., and Stevens was a popular leader in the state. Everyone was saddened by this tragedy.
I hope you agree with me that these are excellent reads...enjoy!
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